Las Vegas Sun

January 16, 2019

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Las Vegas rally for minimum wage hike part of nationwide protest

Minimum Wage Demonstration

Chris Kudialis

Demonstrators seeking a hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour rally at Sahara Avenue and Paseo Del Prado on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would allow working families to afford rent and basic amenities and stimulate the economy, demonstrators outside a central valley fast-food restaurant said.

Just more than two dozen people, most wearing red shirts with “Fight for $15” written on the front, stood at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Paseo Del Prado this morning to advocate for a wage hike, part of a nationwide demonstration on the morning of the annual McDonald’s shareholder meeting in Chicago.

“Fast-food workers here have been underappreciated for a long time,” said Harold Carnes, a former employee in the industry. “Times have got to change.”

In a statement, a McDonald’s spokesperson said company-owned restaurants have raised pay and started offering paid time off in recent years.

“For hundreds of thousands, a job at McDonald’s is their very first, and our world-class training and education programs begin building the skills first-time workers will need to succeed in the workforce,” the statement said.

Eligible employees at company-owned and participating franchised restaurants can also take free high school completion classes, get college tuition assistance and learn English as a second language, the statement said.

Demonstrator Diana Diaz, 48, said she worked at a McDonald’s for nearly three years, from 2014 to earlier this year, and made $8.75 an hour. “It just wasn’t enough,” she said.

Other speakers at the event, representing the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, chanted over loudspeakers and held a large sign reading “#FightFor15, We Won’t Back Down.”

The protest lasted about 20 minutes.